Universal Social Charge (USC)

Married couples and civil partners

The USC rates and thresholds apply to both you and your spouse or civil partner individually. USC rate thresholds are non- transferable between spouses or civil partners.

Maintenance payments to a spouse or civil partner (voluntary or legally enforceable payments) 

Voluntary maintenance payments (payments paid under an informal arrangement) - the spouse or civil partner:

  • making the payments pays USC on the payment
  • who receives the payments is not subject to USC on the payments. 

Legally enforceable maintenance payments (payable under legal obligation) - the spouse or civil partner:

  • making payments does not pay USC on the payment
  • receiving the payment does pay USC on the portion of payment in respect of themselves.

Payments made toward the maintenance of children are exempt from USC. 

Where a separated couple is jointly assessed for income tax purposes, the spouse or civil partner:

  • making the payments does not receive exemption from USC on the portion of their income that they pay
  • who receives the payments is not subject to USC on the maintenance payments that they receive.

Claiming USC exemptions or refunds

Please contact Revenue if you wish to claim USC exemption during the year for legally enforceable maintenance payments. We will then send your employer a letter stating the amount of salary that is exempt from USC.

Please claim USC refunds for legally enforceable maintenance payments at the end of the year.

Please submit an online Form 12 which is available in PAYE services in myAccount.

Self-employed people can claim relief on their Form 11.

Next: Redundancy payments